Inside the AMHS Bathrooms: Mystery of the Broken Stall Doors

Investigating the defective doors and student stall preference.


Welcome to Inside the AMHS Bathrooms, where I explore true stories from the green and brown tiled havens that are known as the school restrooms. This week, due to popular request, I will be investigating the most prolific issue plaguing the lavatory: broken stall doors. 

In order to discover the true depth of this problem, I enlisted a male cohort to travel with me to each main building bathroom and test for working stalls. The data is in:

The male bathrooms are in adequate condition with only one stall door (first floor, first stall) out of commission. 

The female bathrooms on the other hand, could do with some improvement. Downstairs, there are four stalls with full functionality, one stall with a broken lock, and one stall which requires excessive force to shut and lock. Upstairs, one will find three working stalls and three broken. 

Especially concerning to the female students I spoke with, was the last stall in this bathroom. It reportedly has a tendency to pretend to be securely locked upon entry into the stall, only to surprise its user by swinging open several moments later, forcing its victim to hold the door shut either by an extended hand or leg. I have had first hand experienced this stall, and while I can understand the frustration it causes, I happen to respect its dysfunction. It is, by far, the best prank an inanimate object has ever pulled on me. 

With such high stakes in stall selection, I found it necessary to ask AMHS students which stall they recommend for the privacy of their bodily processes. 

In the treacherous women’s rooms, many girls prefer the handicap stalls on each floor for their consistency in locking. However most of the females I spoke with recommended skipping the main building altogether and opting for the guitar hall bathrooms where there is a worse smell, but a better vibe. 

The preferred stall on the male side came with much more controversy. Sophomore Marshall Fleming confidently selected the “Big one on the second floor” adding, “You can quote me on that” whereas senior Davis Leath prefers the handicap stall on the first floor, and explained “That’s where I take my morning constitutional”. As a tiebreaker I consulted trusted senior, Jacob Norman, who stated simply: “I don’t poop at school”.

I don’t poop at school”

— Jacob Norman

Finally, I decided it was time to approach the higher administration with this issue. I had collected the facts, I had done the research, and I mentally composed a speech on the loss of class time associated with waiting for a working stall. In short, I was fully prepared to battle whatever bureaucratic barricades stood in between myself and more secure bathrooms. 

However, no such battling was required. I approached Ms. Pinckney in the hallway one Tuesday afternoon, and as soon as she learned of the issue, she said “Ok. I’ll put in a work order.” 

That was it? Who knew that after three years of waiting in bathroom lines all it would have taken was a conversation with Ms. Pinckney. I felt naive for assuming that this issue would be well known beyond the students, but my faith was restored in the system. Her efficiency, however, threw me into a personal crisis. Are all my issues this easy to fix? If I voiced my frustrations instead of silently lamenting would I be better off? If I ask my teachers for help will I start doing better in my classes? Thankfully, being a teenager, I recovered from these delusions and have resolved that of course not, I’m simply on my own and hopeless in all areas of life. At least the stalls are getting fixed. 

The incredible Ms. Pinckney also added that if students find an issue they need to report it so the school can get on it in a timely manner. It’s that easy guys. 

So as far as the mystery of the broken doors goes, I think I can call this one solved. Join me next time on Inside the Bathrooms, as I investigate students’ strange experiences in the restrooms and FINALLY answer the question: why is the toilet paper in the third stall on the first floor always wet?